The captain of an Italian cruise liner that capsized last year says his helmsman is the one really at fault for the accident that killed 32 people.
Francesco Schettino, who led the Costa Concordia when it capsized in January 2012, told a court Monday that his helmsman failed to promptly follow orders and steered the ship onto the rocks, causing the crash off the coast of Italy, BBC reports.
Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship, said the accident was not his fault. Even though Schettino had directed the ship off-course in order to show passengers the lights off Giglio island, the captain said that the helmsman’s slow reaction to orders caused the wreck.
“If it weren’t for the helmsman’s error, to not position the tiller to the left… the swerve [toward the reef] and the collision wouldn’t have happened,” Schettino told the court.
A maritime expert disputed Schettino’s claim, saying that the helmsman’s 13-second delay in swerving the ship was not a crucial factor.